Record-high support for the Royal Family
82 percent of the Norwegian population say that they support the Royal Family and that they do not want another form of state. “This is by far the highest number I have heard in 20 years,” says political scientist and royal expert Carl-Erik Grimstad about the Norwegian people’s support for the monarchy.
A recent poll by Norstat on behalf of NRK shows that eight out of ten Norwegians say that they support the Royal Family, and that they do not want another form of state.
However, there also opponents. Two members of Parliament, Per Sandberg, Deputy Leader of the Progress Party (FrP), and Minister of Trade Monica Mæland (The Conservative Party/Høyre) recently stated that they want Norway to become a republic. In a book by author Kjetil B. Alstadheim. Sandberg also criticized the Crown Prince and Crown Princess for taking a political, socialist stand on several issues such as climate, immigration and surrogacy.
Alstadheim, however, is not surprised about the high level of support shown by the latest poll. “The option, a republic, is probably quite unclear and unknown, and that is why many people still choose to support the monarchy. This is something we don’t debate enough in Norway,” he tells NRK.
Alstadheim thinks that the number in NRK’s survey is higher than normal, and that other polls show a slightly lower support for the monarchy. Still, the monarchy has a strong position in Norway, he admits. “In the near future it is probably just as unlikely that Norway will abolish the monarchy as we will become members of the E.U.,” the author predicts.
Historically, the polls have shown that 60-70 percent of the population support the royal family, says Grimstad. NRK’s survey from 2005 showed 70 support, and in 2009 the result was the same.
Grimstad thinks that the high support right now may be partly due to Norway celebrating the 200-year-anniversary of its constitution this year. People become more curious and attentive, and maybe even more engaged than usual, Grimstad says.
“The Palace is more visible right now,” he tells NRK, but points out that a current support of 82 percent does not necessarily mean that this will be the case in three months or a year from now.